Study shows shrugging CDC guidelines results in anxiety and anger in the workplace

As the COVID-19 pandemic surpasses well over one year since its purported origination, guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has become detrimental to safeguarding the health of those at risk of infection.

In a newly released study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, researchers at the University of Houston found that shrugging off CDC guidelines results in increased anxiety and subsequent anger in the workplace.

Adhering to the recommended safety protocols in the workplace could make a drastic impact on the health of workers throughout the rest of the pandemic, the study suggests.

With more than 200 employees surveyed, the Houston-based research team delved into the state of CDC guideline adherence within the workplace.

“After seeing some companies making the headlines for not following the CDC and international health safety guidelines, we started to discuss the emotional consequences for employees and how that in turn would affect the company. That’s where we found inspiration for this study,” said Renata Guzzo, the study’s lead author, in a press release.

“The stakes are very high. Workers can get sick or develop severe mental health issues while the companies have to deal with loss of production from sick leave and a bad reputation. Accurate and consistent messaging can mitigate some of those risks,” said another co-author of the study: Juan Madera.

“How employees are treated today will affect how they feel about the organization years from now, long after the pandemic is over,” Madera explained.

The study concluded that managers whose communications adhered to proper CDC guidelines resulted in a more tranquil, healthy work environment, while workers influenced to shrug such guidelines were more likely to experience subsequent affective responses, such as fear and anger.

The study was authored by Renata Guzzo, Xingyu Wang, Juan Madera, and JéAnna Abbott.

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